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COMMENTARY · 19th February 2010
Merv Ritchie
Edited: Feb. 19 - NDI slide show and speaking notes attached below. Mayor Pernarowski's notes on slides 10 to 18.

The news about Terrace, heard across BC, has been featuring reports about the City pursuing a Federal Penitentiary. Those who live here must be wondering where this new venture, this concept, this new Council initiative came from. On March 10, 2009 the City Council presented a complete list of their initiatives at a town hall meeting which we reported on HERE. No where can be read a reference to a Jail. In fact in the past three years of attending Council we cannot recall this topic ever being mentioned. Mayor David Pernarowski was interviewed on CBC today speaking to this possibility and it was suggested an area near the Airport might be suitable. Even the local weekly newspaper has featured this as a major Council initiative. Yet by all accounts it simply came out of nowhere.

The first time this was mentioned in public was in January during a presentation in Victoria to the two legislature caucuses, the NDP and the Liberals, and it was first presented to Terrace City Council on February 8th, 2010, when the Mayor displayed the slide show he delivered at those meetings. Most of the slide show was new to the Councillors as they did not have a hand in creating it. Mayor Pernarowski and City Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ron Poole, acknowledged Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDI) designed it.

According to Councillor Bidgood this jail is not a major initiative of the Terrace Council. He recalled a discussion on a proposal, initiated by NDI shortly before the meeting in Victoria, that Terrace might consider applying for a grant to do a feasibility study on applying to the federal government for the consideration of locating a federal corrections facility here, but that was where it stopped. No Council discussions were held on this in any depth like ‘was this something Council wanted?’, certainly no discussion related to location. That, however, didn’t stop NDI from including this in the notes and slide presentation requesting the Provincial Government support this initiative and Pernarowski suggesting a location.

“The passing of Bill C-17 in the House of Commons is expected to put significant demands on the existing correctional facility occupancy space in the Province.” wrote NDI on behalf of the City of Terrace and read by Mayor Pernarowski, “However the construction of a federally-operated correctional facility in the region could mean $170 million in investment, up to 200 permanent employment positions, and would directly support economic diversification.”

This paragraph was preceded by a request that the Provincial Government support Terrace in its desire to establish this jail here.

CAO Poole stated that none of the initiatives presented at the meeting in Victoria were new, that they were all presented in the past. Mayor Pernarowski also stated that everything in the slide show had been discussed. They both acknowledged however, that the slide show had not been shown to the council before it was delivered to the politicians in Victoria.

The discussions of establishing a penitentiary here were at best peripheral, nothing that could be taken as a major council initiative as has been widely reported. Pernarowski even joked about the slide show as if his fellow councillors would be bored if he brought a slide show to Council. This is no laughing matter.

There are a number of points/issues to consider from the preceding material. First and foremost is; what is this Bill C-17 that will create the need for more space to lock up Canadian Citizens? A second point to consider is what is acceptable for ‘Economic Diversification’? The third consideration is how NDI has become the primary determining factor, not the elected Councillors, for how Terrace develops as a community.

NDI is a bureaucratic body, which was set up by the BC Government after they broke their election promise and sold BC Rail. Although the alleged fraudulent surroundings of the sale are still before the courts, NDI has been operating as an independent funding agency using the money available to assist Northern regions. The Penitentiary concept was not the only thing NDI had Pernarowski speak about as a Terrace initiative, he also asked the Provincial Government to request the Federal Government ‘devolve’ (turn over) to the Province, environmental assessments for mining projects. Pernarowski even took on the task of promoting Clean Green energy asking for an ‘Expedited conclusion to the BC Utilities Commission inquiry” and “A more frequent call for power by BC Hydro.” It is almost as if NDI wrote the speaking notes for Pernarowski on behalf of Premier Campbell. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe this though as NDI is a paid political position. As for economic diversification, the call for green power, into a new grid system connected to Alaska, to facilitate the development of resource properties along the Northern Transmission Line (NTL) route, might suit the region better than a penitentiary. This however might involve having a discussion on the concept, not just being a puppet and repeating what someone else told you to say.

The last point is the Federal Bill to be passed in the House of Commons, Bill C-17, which will apparently cause an influx of new inmates. This Bill has been referred to as the “Pot Law”. Yes, the Federal Government is in the process of redesigning the terms of incarceration for possession, cultivation and trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives such as hashish. The new law suggests very small amounts should be treated simply with fines; under a gram of hash nets a $300 fine, less than 15 grams of pot $150. The new law even allows for being busted for up to three pot plants, $500 fine. But that’s where it the nicety ends.

Over 3 plants could net you 5 years. Today most police leave you alone unless you have a decent sized plantation 15 plus plants. With this new law you are considered a hard core criminal at three. More than 25 plants nets you 10 years and more than 50 could get you a term of 14 years behind bars. The consideration of alcohol causing virtually all the domestic disputes and causing such carnage on the highways is not part of this discussion. Nor is the fact that a plant that has just sprouted from a seed can still be counted as one plant of your three plant max.

All of this seems to be lost on elected officials that parrot what the bureaucrats write for them. It is sad that the elected members of Governmental bodies cannot think for themselves. In the Federal and Provincial legislative houses they cannot even freely vote, they must vote as they are told. But listening to our Mayor profess to speak on behalf of our City when he is just reading text prepared for him by the Campbell Liberal appointee to promote the very things Campbell wants, well this is all just too embarrassing for Terrace. So now what do the rest of the Councillors do? Not support the Mayor? Hardly, they’ll all find some way to explain how they were aware of this and support it whole heartedly; unity of the lemmings possibly?

Same thing happened in Kitimat. Mayor Monaghan read off a sheet prepared for her to accompany her slide presentation courtesy of NDI. Most of the information used was delivered to NDI by KTIDS (Kitimat Terrace Industrial Development Society) another completely unelected body. The Councillors in Kitimat however expressed outrage at not being consulted prior to the presentation. Even Rio Tinto Alcan expressed some surprise that NDI had included the Kemano Completion Project in Kitimat’s desired initiative. It wasn’t part of their plan according to spokeperson Collean Nyce. Was this just another wish list of Campbell included in the NDI package Monaghan parroted? It sure fits with the call for clean green power Mayor Pernarowski asked for.

Today Terrace hit the news with CBC and others talking about the City’s desire to build a federal penitentiary within its boundaries. It has all become a typical ‘Dog and Pony Show’ where a slick salesman leads you through a series of amazing stunts and at the end you jump up with glee and buy into the product. These are the tactics of fraudsters and scam artists, not reasoned thinking people, those who we purportedly elected to represent us.
What About an Army Base?
Comment by Kevin Gooden on 26th February 2010
Great to see city council being so pro-active in investigating various opportunities for local economic development.

Establishing a jail in Terrace seems like it would have some DEFINITE benefits, and some POSSIBLE drawbacks. However, as others have already said, it would best to investigate in a more detailed manner and consult with the community.

But what about a different idea...such as an army base?

History has shown that Terrace's strategic location makes it a natural choice for this type of facility in times of global conflict.

When the Cold War ended, the federal government closed various facilities around the country, including CFB Chilliwack. But since then a new threat has emerged (whether people are willing to admit it or not), namely terrorism. And the people who engage in this are quite willing to bring it to the Western world (see link on the Toronto 18: ).

Right now, people from British Columbia who join the army can live no closer to home than Alberta, and many end up a lot further away than that (the remaining bases in BC are navy and airforce, not army).

While we have a federal government in power that seems committed to supporting not only our military, but also Northwest BC (i.e. federal support for Northwest Transmission Line), maybe an army base is something else that could be lobbied for?
My speculations. (we love Terrace)
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 25th February 2010
How many jobs will this prison create and how many locals will fill those roles?

I'm going to guess a corrections officer at a federal penitentiary will require training and security clearance. RCMP require training & clearance.
How many officers are from Terrace?

If Federal Prisons have little effect on communities why don't they build one in Victoria and Ottawa?

Hey, I'm curious... I'm not in a rush to formulate a yes or no answer until more details are available. Town hall?

If it's jobs people want then think about this:

As for resource bans, other countries do it.

Aagin on topic.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 25th February 2010
As I understood it James, and I was at the opening, it was for minor offenders and not high risk or violent offenders. That being said the minor offenders from outside of Terrace would have required some extra costs. Be that as it may it was a small facility and virtually no social impact with a relatively minor economic one as there were relatively few jobs involved. But it was closed by the Liberal government and that was my point to Diane along with a comment that I had no objection if we looked after our own. I think you can assume that means regionally.

As for prisons and their social impact, it is difficult to find a study on impact on rural communities because any studies conducted are usually in larger centers so impact is hard to measure. Either that or you get a comment by a small town politician anxious to justify a decision. Here is one that is different:

Ngawha prison brings crime to the area
Northern News
Last updated 14:41 16/09/2008

The much vaunted $150 million Ngawha prison has clearly brought with it an increase in crime in the local district according to Kaikohe police.

Adding shock value to hard facts, Kaikohe’s senior sergeant Justin Rogers told the Western Community Board last week that police have attended more than 250 incidents at the prison since it was opened in 2005.

"As a direct result of the prison’s work transition programme, prisoners are staying in the area once they’ve been released," said Mr Rogers.

"While this is good for the prisoners, I’m not sure it’s the best for our community."

The board was told that the crime rate in 2006, Census year, was statistically much higher in the Mid and Far North than the New Zealand average in that year.

Mr Rogers said gangs have a high presence in Kaikohe.

"There’s a specific gang running the prison on the inside and then we have another gang trying to run Kaikohe," he says.

"I don’t believe this is a coincidence."

He said that local schools had also been adversely affected by the prison.

"I was talking to a principal who told me there is a huge transient population now," said Mr Rogers.

"The kids don’t stay long and end up not fitting in and disrupt classes as a result."

Mr Rogers says three new police officers will be recruited for Kaikohe shortly.

"This is a direct result of the district commander pushing for us because of the effect the prison has had on our community."

Beth Neill from the Ministry of Social Development said some of the impacts of Ngawha Prison included a strain on social services and housing from families of prisoners moving to Kaikohe, a bigger and more visible gang presence and that there were difficulties with released prisoners’ re-integration.

"When you have such a huge increase of population on a small community it’s bound to have a negative effect," she said.
"However, Kaikohe does have some good inter-agency work in the social services sector which helps provide support to families," she said.

"Ngawha prison was a mistake," said community board member John Schollum. "It should never have been built in our community."

Board chairwoman Tracy Dalton said that despite the negative impacts of the prison, a lot of people chose to stay in Kaikohe.

"We need to concentrate on how we can help these people. We need more social services," she said. (end of article)

As for Bill Maher, he is trying to be funny. Some people also don't want to live in cities. Small towns still draw people tired of big towns. Size is not the issue.

This discussion started with a suggestion that we move cautiously with all the facts considered. There is always a lot more to an issue than how many jobs are created. In fact if jobs were the only criteria, you could justify a brothel and a few other things revenue generating.

My opinion on the prison
Comment by Danny Nunes on 25th February 2010

If Terrace has had a prison in the past and suffered no ill effects then there is no reason to believe there would be any now even if its one of a much larger scale

Its also pretty pathetic to read comments how people dont want the prison because the families of inmates may relocate here and that means trouble because if an inmate is trouble then there family must automatically be as well? how closed minded a viewpoint.

If this is what people can expect in this be pre judged and attacked based on whom they are related to, there appearance, sexual orientation, or any number of things then who will want to invest or come here? the answer one

I leave you with this quote from Bill Maher
about small towns.

"Why are small towns small? cause no one wants to live in them".

And here is an article posted on

Living In A Small Town? Not As Good As You'd Think
By Alex in Politics, Travel & Places on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm

How does the offer of cash and free land sound to you? All that you have to do is live in a small town in North Dakota. Sounds good? Maybe not. Here’s the story of Michael Tristani and his family:

Tired of crime, traffic, hurricanes and the high cost of living in Florida, the Tristanis moved four years ago to Hazelton, a dwindling town of about 240 that has attempted to attract young families to stay on the map.

Michael Tristani, 42, said at the time the 1,800-mile move was "an answer to our prayers."

"We don’t have to look over our shoulder to see who’s going to rob us, or jump out of the bushes to attack us," Tristani said. "Taxes are low, the cost of living is low and the kids enjoy school."

But the family also found a cliquey community that treated them like outsiders. "For my wife, it’s been a culture shock," he said.

Rural communities across the Great Plains, fighting a decades-long population decline, are trying a variety of ways to attract outsiders. But the Tristanis show how the efforts can fail even at a time when many people are desperate.

"It’s been quite an experience, 50-50 at best," Tristani said. "It hasn’t been easy. No one really wants new people here."

Sorry Helmut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by J Ippel on 25th February 2010
The Terrace Corrections Centre was never meant to be a remand centre, and took short term remands (3 to 7 days) if there was room. It was meant to house "locally" sentenced prisoners which encompassed the area from Smithers to the Queen Charlottes, Kitimat & areas north. If there were accused on remand for 7 days or less, they were housed in the local RCMP lockup.
The Corrections Centre here should have been expanded, as there was a definate damand, but again, as I previously stated, management were afraid to take a large number of sentenced prisoners because of past history. An example, a man sentenced to 60 days for impaired driving refused because 10 years ago he was convictec of assault. He was deemed "Violent" even though his record was clean till the conviction for impaired.
There were enough corrections officers here to handle a much larger population of prisoners, and that alone would have cut the cost of operation, and increase the sale of firewood, as you have more people cutting and splitting.
I worked with these people for many years, so I do have an inkling of how the system operated.
One more thing Danny.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 25th February 2010
It was a "fact" and not "facts" and I conceded a fact. I thought if you were keeping score you might want to know that.

Do you have an opinion on a federal prison facility or not?
No Danny.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 25th February 2010
Again you are throwing up red herrings. I have not had to admit anything on the Kitimat Daily and the readers can check that out for themselves. Here your just acting like a troll and have nothing but silliness to contribute just because you got whipped on the Kitimat Daily. You posts speak for themselves.

The correction facility was not designed to take outside clients as they would have to be transported back to the court in other communities. It may not have been the cause of the closure but may have limited its use. The point was we had a facility for local offenders once. Now we don't. And, I was responding to Diane.
Helmut admits he gets facts wrong: wow
Comment by Danny Nunes on 25th February 2010

and it only took 12 comments to get him to show that on the Kitimat Daily, oh wait he didnt admit it...he just ran.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 25th February 2010
O.K. so it wasn't transportation costs that were a factor but the government did close it, it was for local offenders, and too expensive to run. I got one fact wrong, Sorry.
Yes, we had a jail.....
Comment by J Ippel on 24th February 2010
We had a jail, and it was not closed down because of the cost of transporting prisoners to and from court. They still have to be transported from the local lockup now, or they appear via a video link from Pr. Geo.
Before playing the blame game Helmut, get the facts. The facility here was not being untilized to its capacity because those in charge set such high levels of acceptance to the jail that it for the most part it seldom ran at capacity. They did not want anyone to walk away, this would tarnish their reputation as jailers.
What they should have done is run at capacity, and keep demanding more bed space from Corrections. This would have gone a long way to keeping this facility open.
You may not be aware, but the sale of firewood paid for the majority of expences to operate this jail , except for wages.

Diane, we had one.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 23rd February 2010
We did have one for local offenders but the liberals closed it down. I think they said it was too expensive and something about costs of transporting them back and forth to court. I don't have a problem with looking after locals in some kind of a facility, That is not the "revenue generator" being advocated. I don't imagine the cost factor will have changed by now.
penitenary for Terrace
Comment by Diane Somerville rosswood b.C. on 23rd February 2010
We are the hub of the northwest and the people here that get sent away for jail are many. Why not have them here close to their families. It would also create jobs here to in amuch recessed area.
Balance is key.
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 23rd February 2010
I think again, balance is key.

Yes, there are those that appear to say no to everything that creates jobs because of it's ill effects. IE environment, social responsibility etc...

Then there are those that appear to say yes to everything that will create jobs because jobs are the be all end all, regardless of environemnt/social responsibility.

There needs to be balance, and respect for the differing view points. Yes, Terrace and the whole NorthWest but at what cost to generations to come. However generations will not be here, stay here etc... without jobs.

So can we as a community come together and find ways to encourage enviromentally, socially responsible jobs. Jobs that strengthen our economy that don't threaten to devestate our entire region.

Lets support good jobs with as little negative impact. IE the biofuel thing. Is it ideal that it's in the middle of town, no. BUT we can I think all live with it, it's good jobs that are not going to destroy everything around us.

Lets try to find some reasonable balance.

I for one have a child growing up in this community and no I don't want her growing up in a community with a federal pen. I moved from the city to benefit her QUALITY of life. If it meant we make a little less money, and do things a little differently that was okay, because the quality of her life would be better. There is enough criminal element in Terrace already, I don't see a need to increase it.
Something to consider
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 23rd February 2010
From "Economic Impact of Prisons in Rural Areas". The conclusion of a study based on U.S. evidence.

"The 1990’s location of prisons in rural areas was based on a high dose of economic development hype and the hopes and expectations of local elected representatives, business and community leaders who believed state prisons were a ‘gold plated’ solution to their economic problems.
The rural prison policy did not have an evidence base in support of the external economic/community benefits, which only emerged in the last decade (as distinct from the internal case relating to costs, efficiency etc). No comprehensive impact studies were undertaken as part of the planning process. The few academic and public policy studies, which were undertaken, were narrow conceived and selective.
Once more comprehensive and rigorous impact studies did emerge, they demonstrated that many of the apparent benefits of rural prison location for local communities were invalid.
This demonstrates the importance of rigorous economic, social, environmental and sustainable development impact studies being a mandatory and integral part of the options appraisal and planning process. Determining cause and effect is often difficult in assessing economic and social impacts but transparent estimating is better than none at all.
It is important to recognise that a comprehensive study has not been undertaken which combines the internal cost and other drivers of the prison service and the external impacts on employment, the local economy, prisoner’s families and criminal justice policies in general."
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 22nd February 2010
Google "Social Impacts of jails in communities". They are not all positive. Nothing comforting in lumping negative impacts is a grab bag of "different growth pressures".
missing my point a bit
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 22nd February 2010
Well, I think part of my point was missed. Re-read what I had said. I never said "lets sell our souls for jobs," what I said was lets look at all ideas as they come and not just say "no" right away. Not all will be possible or implemented. And for that matter, I believe this conversation is a mute point, I doubt we will ever see a prison built here, we are just to far away from the major population centers.
I agree with many points that were made by others, specifically that there is no undo button (post removed?) in politics.
We need balance. No, we don't want to give up our lifestyle, but we also don't want to see our city become a town and maybe a village. I would hate to see Terrace become like Chilliwack, which when I was in School was similar in makeup. Now I don't recognize it, or feel comfortable, its just to big.
As for Abbotsford, I can not agree that Matsqui Prison was what changed the town. The prison was one of a hundred different growth pressures that overtook the whole Fraser Valley, not just Abbotsford.
I am aware of much of the history, and how we ended up where we are. These include decisions by politicians, interest groups, unions and business. Unfortunately, many of these decisions (but not all) were not based in, or controllable by BC, they are related to global pressures.
And where has it ever been said that the proponents of this idea are afraid of consultation?
Bryan, I simply don't agree.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 21st February 2010
Has anyone asked them before pursuing this venture? No! Jobs do not always trump every other consideration. If this is the sum total of what Council can come up with for an economic idea, something is wrong.

Sorry but I lived in Abbotsford long before the corrections facilities until just before they went in. I know it now as well. There were no studies done and the decision was made the same way it will be made here. Then we'll all wonder where the neighborhood went. Let's see some study of the social impact and then make the decision based on fact and not desperation of the unemployed. Why does that worry the proponents? Why does having a public discussion worry them?

We might also spend a little time considering the history of how we got into this mess, learn from that before proposing solutions that might be worse or simply repeat the history.

That is my point of view. Period.

Politics: No undo button.
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 21st February 2010
I for one am in no rush to accept this idea.
Helmut, part two
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 21st February 2010
Helmut, I refer to my original comments: "I believe any idea brought forward by the Mayor, Council, or anyone for that matter should be looked at seriously if it means jobs for our area. That does not mean we have to implement them all or that all be possible." If we truly want to preserve our quality of life we need employment or we will lose the vibrancy we have. What I am saying is we need to explore things before saying no.
As for Abbotsford, I again would like to strongly suggest that changes in Abbotsford can not be traced to a prison. To have kept Abbotsford as a small village (which it was) you would have needed a prison style fence to keep people out. Agassiz also has a federal prison (and provincial) yet they have retained a rural setting, but that is most likely because they have not experienced the growth pressure. They are just that much further from the city. When my Dad came to Chilliwack in 1955 there were also not any of the serious problems experienced now.
Other than knowing that you were an MLA, I do not know your economic position in life, but I am sure if you took a walk downtown and asked people if they would be interested in a 60K-70K per annum job that would let them stay in Terrace and you would get a resounding "yes."
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th February 2010
You know Abbotsford after 1985 and the damage was already done. I knew it long before that and still visit often. As Bill says, the incarcerated bring their families and they in all probably stay after released. I'd like to see some proof of your assertion. Just because we are "desperate" doesn't mean anything goes. What is next just for the sake of more jobs, a pulp mill? Consider it, but with all the facts.
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 20th February 2010
I must go back to your earliest comment, specifically the reference to Abbotsford. Any connection you make between Matsqui Federal Prison, in Abbotsford; and the issues that have developed in the City of Abbotsford is a stretch almost beyond imagination. Matsqui has existed for a long time (I remember working outside the admin building in about 1985), long before Abbotsford developed big city issues from big time growth. Fearmongering?? As I said, I grew up in Chilliwack, used to go to Abbotsford often.
As for concerns about people brought to town by prisons, I think the concern is also exagerated. Most inmates, once released, are unlikely to wish to remain in Terrace, and besides, those people are here now amongst us, those recently released etc, we just aren't always aware.
I agree with Adam, 200 jobs should at least be considered.
Comment by Aaron Parhar on 20th February 2010
I bet if u ask any of the unemployed in Terrace they would welcome any industry that produced 200 plus decent paying jobs.
little or no risk to community
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th February 2010
Therein lies the problem. "Little or no risk" has not been confirmed by any study into the social impacts. Until it is there is reason for caution. It is O.K. to be optimistic; just not all the time. That is unrealistic and naive.
Normally I would...
Comment by Adam Kirkwood on 20th February 2010
... agree with Bill, what with his usually optimistic take on things, but this time I have to disagree. A Federal Penetentiary is not a "come and go as you please" type set up... Yes, the worst offenders get put in them, but they're pretty well secured. As a good friend of mine who worked in the Abbotsford Pen can attest to. They don't escape.

As for the policing issue, I, for one would welcome more police on our streets. The added taxes from the Penetentiary would more than likely (I say this because there are no figures in the article, but it's plausible) cover off any additional salaries incurred. Hell, if there were more police here, maybe they'd be able to get rid of the crack house on my street. Or maybe they'd have the man-power to keep order beyond the Lazelle mini-mall and Kelly D wouldn't be having his bottles stolen out of his carport all the time...

I welcome the potential for 200 + well paying jobs for little or no risk to the environment or the community with the added bonus of more law enforcement... to me, it's a win-win-win... but, you know me, all optimistic all the time...

Bill, for once I agree.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th February 2010
You forgot to mention that old risk of day parole when inmates reach the end of their sentence. I guess if one believes that every criminal who goes to prison will be rehabilitated, and if not will go back, along with their families, to the community of their origins once they are released, then all of this is mute. Some consideration of the social and cultural impacts is necessary.
I'm going to poopoo this one
Comment by bill (braam) on 19th February 2010
I do not want a prison anywhere close to the Terrace area. Ok, here goes, prisons are filled with very nasty people who don't really want to be there and will take any chance to get out....into the greater Terrace area where they can terrorize the population. The nasty inmates have families, some composed of nasty people, who will want to settle in good old Terrace while their significant others are being incarserated, this brings a lot of new residents to Terrace , people who you really don't want living next door or even on the next block to you. To keep all these new nasty people in line the good taxpayers of good old Terrace will have to pay the neccesary taxes to add additional police officers. The new police officers will be kept very busy babysitting all the new nasties that will descend apon us. So, for what? For a number of new jobs we throw our quality of life and the safety in our community away...possibly forever. The security companies in Terrace will do a very brisk business wiring everybodies homes, we'll all be a lot more jumpy and when the inevitable inmate sneaks out we'll all be extremely stressed, for what? For more employment? No thanks. Are you listening city council, perhaps you can be the ones to live up close and personal to a federal institution, I certainly do not wish to, thank you.
Prisons are a magnet for what?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 19th February 2010
Economic impact studies on the effects of a federal corrections facility are not the whole picture. You want to know how a corrections facility impacts a community then look at Abbotsford which has become like Surrey. A social impact study is also necessary and there has been no talk of one. I would hope that on something like a federal prison facility there would at least be some consultation with the community before the Council goes off on their own. Perhaps even a referendum.
Yay Brian...
Comment by Adam Kirkwood on 19th February 2010
I agree one hundred percent...

bring on the pellet plant, bring on the pententiary, bring on the power line, bring on Red Chris Mine, bring on Alcan's modernization... with industry comes a solid tax base... with a solid tax bace come better services and roads...

down with pessimism, up with optimism... we live in the greatest place in the province, let's not let the negativity of the few squash the positivity (if that's even a word) of the many...

Economic Sustainability
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 19th February 2010
I follow your negative points, but I believe any idea brought forward by the Mayor, Council, or anyone for that matter should be looked at seriously if it means jobs for our area. That does not mean we have to implement them all or that all be possible, but if 1 in 10 works, maybe we can remain a viable community.
This area has lost hundreds of well paying jobs over the past decade, and if we want our houses to be of value and our children to have a hope of staying in the north west we have to be open minded. The potential provided by our local assets (people, space, transportation, costs, lifestyle) is immense, we just need to see it realized, and for this to happen we need the outside world to be aware.
I grew up in Chilliwack, and stayed until I was 39. We had two federal prisons, a provincial prison and a number of forest camps within a half hour drive. The biggest recollection I had of these institutions was the people I knew who worked there. My family had a small business, and the prisons were one of our customers, the money certainly didn't stay within the prison walls.
Finally, I check this site daily and appreciate the opportunity to get local stories and insight, but the conspiracy theories get a little tiring.
Sounds like a good idea
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 19th February 2010
I was wondering the same thing - it seems that locals learned of this plan after it had been broadcast everywhere else.

However, I am not opposed to such an endeavour. Terrace has the perfect location, is in need of stable employment, has the available workforce, our airport has been upgraded sufficiently, and it would certainly open up the airport lands for multiple development. There would be opportunity for a lot of secondary businesses as well.

This is an institution that would also have minimal impact on the environment. I say we give city council our full support.
We have the building already!
Comment by Alan Weston on 19th February 2010
If this goes through, maybe they can use the old Co-op Building. It's an eyesore and an embarrassment. If its not going to be taken down, then put it to use.